Poland Regional High School has recently taken on a new and exciting co-curricular activity: Boffer Club.

Boffer is the act of fighting with padded weapons called boffers. Boffers are made out of 3/4 -1/2 inch PVC pipe wrapped in insulation and duct tape. You can make weapons such as swords, maces, axes, pole arms, and shields.

“It’s a practice game,” says Jonathan Doughty, one of the two Boffer Club coaches at PRHS. “It’s safe sword fighting. It starts out where you make a sword out of PVC pipe and padding and duct tape then practice footwork. BUT, we’re creative with it. For me it’s about re-creating it, but for others it’s about walloping each other with sticks.”

Boffer comes from a youth program in an organization called the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).

SCA is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Members dress in period clothing and attend events that feature tournaments, art exhibits, workshops, and feasts.

PRHS students Ethan Lee and Shane Mason first came up with the idea for starting the Boffer Club as soon as they started high school.

“I’ve known about boffer for about eight years now,” says Lee.

Hitting people with PVC pipe may sound easy, but there is more to boffer than just the fighting. There are rules and terms you need to know in order to play.

And boffer does come with some expenses. If you are planning on making your own weapon, you will need to buy 3/4-1/2 inch PVC pipe, insulation, strapping tape, and duct tape.

So far, Boffer Club members have learned how to make weapons, do some foot work, and call shots. They have also learned how to play in a melee, in which two teams battle each other. The club members are now in the process of qualifying everyone to use weapons.

To qualify, students are tested by someone who is already qualified in the chosen weapon. They need to be able to answer safety questions and use the weapon properly.

Since the beginning, the Boffer Club has been a great success.

“I’ve been playing boffer for three years, and I’m happy they put a club in school!” says PRHS student Matt York.

It is a fun co-curricular, and it is great for learning about sword fighting.


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